Munich: Coach Pep Guardiola says holders Bayern Munich need France winger Franck Ribery to be in “angry” mode for tonight’s Champions League semi-final, second-leg at home to Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery celebrates after scoring against Werder Bremen on Saturday
Ribery, 31, who missed out on the Ballon d’Or earlier this year, has produced a string of below-par performances since Bayern were confirmed Bundesliga champions at the end of March with a record seven league games to spare.
The Frenchman put in an improved display when he netted in Bayern’s 5-2 league win at home to Werder Bremen in Saturday’s dress rehearsal for the semi-final, with Real holding a slender 1-0 lead from last Wednesday’s first leg in Madrid. But Guardiola said he needs Ribery, who joined Munich from Marseille in 2007, at his aggressive best to help Bayern’s bid to reach a fourth Champions League final in five years.
“Franck Ribery is very important for us,” said Guardiola, who is in his first season in charge of Bayern. “He has been at Bayern longer than me and I am happy, of course, if he plays with energy and motivation. “He sometimes needs an angriness and I am sure he will play very well tomorrow. “He has this fighting spirit. He always wants to fight for the team, that’s why the people love him. “He is one of the most fantastic players in the history of Bayern.”
Bayern failed to get a crucial away goal in Madrid, despite dominating the stats with 72 percent possession and firing in 18 shots on goal compared to Real's nine, and Guardiola says his side must be more effective.
"I love being in possession of the ball, it was the way I was trained to play the game," said Guardiola. "We want the ball to create chances and I want us to be just as dominant as we were in Madrid, but more effective and aggressive, we must find the right balance."
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. Real Madrid maintained their positive momentum after beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final and Bayern in last week’s first leg with a comfortable 4-0 win over Osasuna to leave them second in the Spanish league on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo showed no ill effects from his hamstring injury which has blighted him in recent weeks with two wonderful goals. Coach Carlo Ancelotti was also able to rest several key players, including Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
. Bayern Munich romped to a 5-2 win at home to Werder Bremen in Saturday’s dress rehearsal for Real, but worryingly for the Bavarians it was the seventh time in their last nine games they have conceded the first goal. Pep Guardiola’s Bayern have proved they are not unbeatable having had their 53-match unbeaten streak ended with a defeat at Bavarian neighbours Augsburg at the start of the month before they lost 3-0 at home to Dortmund. (Text: AFP)